Casio rocks it this year with the Exilim Zoom EX-Z280 digital camera, and we like it enough that we are recommending it in this years gift guide. It sports a dedicated Easy Mode, making it easy enough for pretty much anyone who enjoys pressing buttons to operate, while still maintaining the advanced features for more experienced pros, including ones that you don’t typically find on budget-priced digital cameras. One such feature is mechanical (instead of digital) image stabilization, giving you nice clear shots while you stumble around during a holiday party after one-too-many eggnogs, as well as a 4x optical zoom lens. In addition, it shoots video in 720p, so it can even take the place of your Flip-style camcorder. You can grab one now for $173 on Amazon.
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The EX-Z280 is a 12-megapixel ultracompact, with 2.7-inch LCD. It also has a wide-angle lens with 4x zoom, and 720p HD-quality video capture with the green screen Dynamic Photo function seen at CES last January. It will be available in September for $179.99, and you can pre-order it on Amazon.
The EX-Z33, pictured above, is a 10-megapixel model with 2.5 inch LCD and 3x optical zoom. It features face detection, VGA movie mode, and other scene modes. It will be also be available in September for $119.99, and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.
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